The town of Ismay has approved plans to put temporary postal boxes in the town’s community center.
At a meeting Jan. 20 in the Joe Montana Community Center, the mayor and town officials approved the plans which could allow partial postal service to return to the community about a month after its local post office burned to the ground.
Since the fire destroyed the post office in early January, residents have had to travel to the closest post office in Plevna, approximately a 20-mile drive each way.
The owners of the building, Gene and Rita Nemitz, have announced plans to rebuild the building, but have said that rebuilding the building would have to wait for warmer weather in the spring at the earliest.
“The investigation is done. It has been ruled an accident,” Rita Nemitz said. She added that the tin and other debris could be cleaned off the building site, but any work below ground would have to wait. “We are working on it to rebuild. It is a slow process.”
The biggest stumbling block is the weather, she explained.
“My husband and I plan to rebuild the building, so you have to go through a process. We are hoping to get something started, but the weather is going to be a problem. We will have to wait to get an excavator in there to dig it out and refill it.”
As owners, the Nemitz’ hope to find what the post office requirements would be for the new building, she explained. “We are still waiting on specifics from the post office on what they would require back into the building again.”
The building, which burned down in the early morning hours of Jan. 4, had been the post office for the community since the 1940s, she explained.
According to Nemitz, the temporary boxes which will be placed in the community center are being shipped. “We are supposed to get a phone call for when they get set up. It is in the next week or so, I’d assume,” she added. That would allow most of the daily service to return to the town, although there will be a need for some residents to still travel to the Plevna post office.
“They’ll be a removable set of boxes that they will need to secure. Then, service will return to a point in Ismay.”
The post office in the old building rented slightly more than 700 square feet, about half the size of the building, Nemitz said. The building had a varied history in Ismay over the years, she added, noting that it could have been an old cafe and an implement store over the years.
When the building is rebuilt, the post office portion will probably be a little larger, but not by much, she added.